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round for ever, with unfpeakable Vigour and Alacrity.

V. As we are reasonable Creatures related to God, we are bound to refign up, and submit our felves to his bleffed Will and Difpofal. For God hath a juft Dominion over all, founded in his own infinite power, that doth not like other Dominions refult to him from any external Acts or Atchievements, but is the eternal Prerogative of his own Nature. For he, as well as all other Beings, hath a freedom to exercife his own Abilities fo far as it is juft and lawful; but being infinitely paramount to all other Powers whatfoever, he can be subject to no fuperiour Authority, nor confequently be obliged by any other Law but that of his own Nature. So that whatfoever he can do, he can justly do, if it be not contrary to the infinite Perfections of his Nature. For his Power being infinite, and unconfined as well as his Wifdom, Justice, and Goodnefs, doth fufficiently warrant him to do whatfoever is confiftent with them; otherwife he would be infinitely powerful in vain. And therefore fince he can exercife a Dominion over all, he must needs have an eternal Right to do it, fo far as his own Wisdom, Goodnefs and Juftice will permit, which are the only Laws by which he can be bounded in the exercife of his infinite Power and Ability. So that while he governs us by fuch Rules and Laws, as are convenient to his own Nature, his own Greatnefs and Power, which exalts him above all other Law or Authority, fufficiently warrants him fo to do. And being thus rightfully enthroned by the infinite Preeminence of his own Power and Majefty,

jefty, all other Beings fo far as they are capable ftand immutably obliged to fubmit and refign themselves up to his Government.

But befides that we are obliged to him as he is God, we are alfo bound to him as he is our Creator. For there is always a Power acquired by Benefits, where there is none antecedently; efpecially where the Benefit conferr'd is no lefs than that of our Being, which is the cafe between us and God. And this is fuch a Benefit as is fufficient to entitle him to us, by an abfolute and unalienable Propriety, though he had no antecedent right of Dominion over us by vertue of his own infinite Greatnefs. So that though before he created us, or any other Being, he had free power to act any thing that lay within the compafs of just and lawful, which just and lawful was not definable by any other Law but that of his own Nature; and though fince his Creation his Power is no more, (fo that he hath not acquired to himself any new Power by creating us, but only made new Subjects whereon to exercife that ancient power, and Dominion which was eternally inherent in him) yet doubtless by giving us our Beings, he hath laid new Obligations upon us to obey him. For now deriving our felves, as we do, from him, we are bound by all the ties of Equity and Justice to render back our felves to him, and to submit those powers to his Dominion, which are the effects and off-fpring of his Bounty. For what can be more juft and equal, than that that Will which is the Caufe of our Beings, fhould be the Law and Rule of our Actions; than that we should ferve him with those Powers we derived from him,



render him back the fruits of his own Plantation? For now we are not our own, but God's, and He alone hath power to difpofe of us; and whenfoever we difpofe of our felves contrary to his Will and Pleasure, we do not only invade his Property, but employ the fpoils of it against him. And whilst we continue thus doing, it is impoffible we should ever be happy. For befides that, while we continue in Rebellion against him, we are in an actual Confederacy with Hell; for fo when we are told that Rebellion is as the fin of Witchcraft, that is, Rebellion against God, the meaning is, that, like Witches, we are in League with the Devil, and are lifted Volunteers under thofe infernal powers, who for blowing the Trumpet of Rebellion in Heaven were banished thence fix thousand years ago, and have ever fince been raifing Forces in this lower World against God; fo that whilst we continue with them in Defiance to God, we are in the Devils Mufter-roll, who is Captain General of all the revolted Legions, and fo are of the quite oppofite Party to the Loyal people of Heaven, and confequently can never hope while we continue fuch to be admitted to their Society and Happiness; befides all this, I fay, Rebellion against God doth naturally draw a Hell of Miseries after it. For it cannot be fup- · pofed that the wife Soveraign of the World, fhould be fo unconcerned for his own Authority, as to fuffer his Creatures to sparn at and affront it without ever manifefting his Difpleasure against them in fome dire and fenfible Effects. And therefore though in this Life, which is the time of our Trial and Probation, he mercifully forbears


forbears to lead us to Repentance, yet if we leave this Life with our Wills unfubdued and unrefigned to him, we mult not expect to be thus gently dealt with in the other. For it is as eafie for him who is the Father of our Spirits, to correct our Spirits, as 'tis for the Parents of our Flesh to correct our Flesh. And though our Souls are no more impreffible with material ftripes, than Sun-beams are with the blows of a hammer; yet are they liable to have horrid and difmal thoughts impreffed upon them, and to be as much aggrieved by them, as fenfible Bodies are with the most exquifite Torments. So that if God be difpleafed with us, there is no doubt but he can imprint his Wrath upon our Minds, in black and gaftly thoughts, and caufe it perpetually to drop like burning fulphur on our Souls. And it being in his Power thus to lafh our Spirits, to be fure, when once he is implacably incenfed against us, (as he will be in the other World, if we go Rebels thither) he will more or lefs let loofe his Power upon us, and make us feel his wrathful Refentments, by infufing fupernatural Horrors into our Souls, and fcourging our guilty and defenfelefs Spirits with infpirations of dire and frightful Thoughts. Now though this be not a natural and neceffary Effect of our Rebellion against God, because it depends upon his Will who is a free Agent; yet confidering that he is a wife Agent, and that as fuch it is neceffary he fhould one way orother manifeft his Difpleasure against fuch as are unreclaimable Rebels to his Authority, it is next to a natural one; and at least the fearful Expectation of it in fuch rebellious Spirits (which is a mifery next to the enduring

it) is neceffary and unavoidable. For God hath imprinted a dread of his own Power and Majesty fo deeply on our Natures that we are not able with all our arts of Self-deceit wholly to obliterate and deface it; and though in this life we may fometimes fuppref and ftupefie our Senfe of God, yet even here in defpight of our felves, 'twill ever and anon return upon us. And if when we have done what we know is offenfive to that invisible Majefty we stand in aw of, we do but fuffer our felves feriously to reflect upon it, there prefently arifes in our minds a fwarm of horrid Thoughts. and difmal Expectations; and if in this prefent State in which we have fo many Salvo's for our wounded Spirits, fo many pleafures and Selfdelufions to charm our natural dread of God, our overcharged Confciences do notwithstanding fo often recoil upon us, and alarm us with fuch difinal abodings; what will they do hereafter, when all thofe pleasures are removed, and all thofe Self-delufions baffled with which we were wont to footh and divert them? Then doubtlefs we shall be continually ftung with fharp and dire Reflections, and our Confciences like tragick Scenes be all hung round with the Enfigns of Horrour then shall the dread of God perpetually haunt us like a grim Fury, and the terror of his offended Majefty strike us into an everlasting Trembling and Agony. For fo S James tells us, that the Devils themfelves do believe and tremble, Jam. ii. 19. they believe that there is an Almighty Being above them, and are confcious that they are in actual Rebellion against him, which makes them horri→ bly afraid of his vengeance; and yet fuch is K 2


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